Removing Cigarette Odor

How to Naturally Get Rid of Cigarette Smell From Your House

Having the smell of tobacco in your home can not only be irritating, it may be harming your health. Whether it’s a pipe, cigar, or cigarette, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) from these tobacco products contain over 4,000 identified chemicals. Not only are cigarettes bad for you they also effect the air quality around you and the smoke can get trapped in your home for a very long time. Read on to learn how you can naturally remove cigarette odor from your home today. 

Before we get started, here are a few chemicals that you can find in cigarettes: nicotine, ammonia, cadmium, formaldehyde, benzene, benzo[a]pyrene, lead, and nitrosamines. These chemicals, combined and solo, have numerous health complications ranging from sore throat to nausea to cancer. And tobacco smoke will also harm natural ecosystems - it’s connected to deforestation, pesticide use, forest fires, litter, and air pollution.(1) Once tobacco is smoked, removing the smell can seem impossible. And if you’ve just quit (congratulations!) or moved into a new home that used to belong to a smoker, getting rid of cigarette odor may become an obsession. Honestly, the smell of tobacco smoke is very difficult to get rid of, but with our natural ways to remove cigarette odors, the smell should diminish considerably.

The trick to removing cigarette smoke naturally is to combat each separate part of your home with different remedies:

  • Outside only: If there are still smokers in your home, insist that they do their puffing in the great outdoors to minimize your exposure to the chemicals emitted.
  • Windows open: Freshening the air can be as easy as opening up the windows - an especially effective treatment shortly after a smoking episode. Of course, keep the windows closed when people smoke outside!
  • Laundering textiles: For things like curtains, linens, clothing, throw rugs, and other portable textiles, laundering your things once or twice can be a quick way to get rid of cigarette smoke - add a cup or two of vinegar to the loads for added odor-removing power. Just be sure to use your own homemade laundry detergent or natural off the shelf brand.
  • Wall cleaning: Cigarette smoke odors can be absorbed by the paint on walls and furniture. Cleaning these surfaces with a natural all purpose cleaner (non-abrasive) can reduce the smell quite a bit. Check out our recipe and be on your way to creating a homemade all purpose cleaner.
  • Light bulb cleaning: Because light bulbs attract odors and then release them later, washing them can help to reduce the smell.
  • Repainting: If the smells are still emanating from the walls, try repainting them with a low-VOC latex paint to seal the smell in the walls. You may need to repaint furnishing as well for the same reasons.
  • Carpet and furniture deodorizing: Another surface that readily absorbs cigarette smoke are your carpets and rugs as well as upholstered furniture. Use a natural carpet deodorizer or baking soda to help these surfaces - sprinkle it on and leave for several hours or overnight, then vacuum it up again.
  • Carpet shampooing: When deodorizers don’t work, a deep carpet shampoo treatment may be more effective using a natural carpet detergent. Hiring an eco-friendly carpet care professional is likely a good idea for a truly thorough carpet clean. Learn more by reading our natural carpet cleaning article. 
  • Diffused essential oils: Get an essential oil diffuser (there are diffusers for cars and homes) and choose your favorite scent to add a pleasant fragrance to your indoor air. Citrus essential oils are especially effective for removing cigarette smoke.
  • Natural odor absorbers: Try leaving bowls of distilled white vinegar or ammonia around the home to absorb odors slowly over time. For even deeper deodorizing, boil the vinegar on the stove and let it simmer for a few hours to diffuse it throughout the home. Another fun option is to pour a bunch of coffee grounds into a coffee filter and hang the sachets around the house - they’ll absorb odors as well. And if that doesn’t work, put out a few bowls of activated charcoal - the smoke smell should be gone in about 1 week.
  • Electric air purifier: Perhaps one of the most effective ways to remove tobacco smoke from your home is to buy a good quality air purifier. You can either make your own purifier, or check out our guide to the natural air fresheners to put you on the right path.



1 Tobacco's Impact on the Environment. (1997, June 30). Retrieved June 17, 2010, from CorpWatch:

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